THE Perth Redbacks continued their impressive form in the Women’s SBL seeing off a fighting effort from the Mandurah Magic to win a sixth consecutive match on Sunday.
The Sunday afternoon contest at Belmont Oasis was the last game of Week 16 in the Women’s SBL in celebration of Heritage Round featuring the on-fire Redbacks against the shorthanded Grand Finalists from last year in the Magic trying to cling to a playoff position.
Heritage Round in the Women’s SBL got underway on Friday night with the Rockingham Flames beating the Perry Lakes Hawks 58-51, the Cockburn Cougars defeating the Stirling Senators 87-84 and the Joondalup Wolves prevailing 80-59 against the East Perth Eagles.
Then on Saturday night, the Perry Lakes Hawks beat the South West Slammers 82-49, the Lakeside Lightning downed the Willetton Tigers 86-72 and the Perth Redbacks defeated the Cockburn Cougars 82-63.
The round then concluded on Sunday at Belmont Oasis with the Perth Redbacks beating the Mandurah Magic 102-94.
The job did appear ahead of the Magic heading to Belmont Oasis on Sunday to take on the hot Redbacks with Mandurah without Carly Boag and Casey Mihovilovich who played such big roles in their run to the Grand Final in 2017.
The Magic arrived on a four-game losing run also while the Redbacks had won five straight having beaten the Cougars at Wally Hagan Stadium on Saturday night.
The Redbacks weren’t quite at full strength on Sunday either, losing Makailah Dyer following Saturday’s win, but that didn’t stop them from a remarkably dominant first quarter.
They led 30-12 by quarter-time and didn’t let up in the second quarter with another 37 points to 19 to lead 67-31 at half-time having been in front by 38 points and at one stage going on a 14-0 run.
Despite that 36-point half-time deficit, Mandurah showed tremendous hard in the second half though. The Magic never gave up the fight and did get as close as seven points down the stretch to create some nerves for the Redbacks.
The Magic managed to go on a 12-0 run to really make things interesting but on the couple of times they got within seven, the Redbacks answered with big buckets and won an entertaining and physical contest by eight points.
The win keeps the Redbacks in second position in the Women’s SBL at 15-4 having won six straight while the Magic slip to 7-9 on a five-game losing run.
Bianca Donovan delivered a tremendous performance for the Redbacks with 21 points on the back of shooting 5/7 from the field and 10/11 from the foul line.
Mikayla Pirini also delivered 20 points for Perth while Jess Jakens added 15 points, five rebounds, four stelas and two assists, and Kayla Standish 13 points, 10 boards and three blocked shots.
Jess Hughes had six points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals before going off the floor with a leg injury in the third quarter.
Despite the loss, it was a brave second half showing from the Magic who also were without Bree Klasztorny for the afternoon who was on the bench but not suited up.
Anita Brown tried to put the team on her bark to spark the fight back and finished with 36 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals on shooting 13/25 from the floor, 3/5 from three-point range and 7/7 from the foul line.
Regina Palusna added 14 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Mandurah while Jemma Gatti contributed 11 points and six rebounds, Rachel Pettit nine points and four boards, and Kelly Bailey eight points and three rebounds.
WEEK 16 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames 58 defeated Perry Lakes Hawks 51
Stirling Senators 84 lost to Cockburn Cougars 87
East Perth Eagles 59 lost to Joondalup Wolves 80
Perry Lakes Hawks 82 defeated South West Slammers 49
Willetton Tigers 72 lost to Lakeside Lightning 86
Cockburn Cougars 63 lost to Perth Redbacks 82
Perth Redbacks 102 defeated Mandurah Magic 94